The New York Giants grabbed headlines this offseason when they pulled off the blockbuster trade to acquire TE Darren Waller. The Giants’ new playmaker has been a dominant force through the first two days of training camp, appearing to be the perfect weapon for Daniel Jones. Alongside Waller, though, second-year tight end Daniel Bellinger has also stood out.
Bellinger made a name for himself as a rookie last season, earning a starting role in the offense before showing up to training camp this summer looking like the Incredible Hulk. Now Waller is joining Bellinger as the two combine to create a two-headed tight end monster in the New York Giants’ offense this season.
No one can cover Darren Waller at Giants training camp
Waller has been unguardable through the first two days of training camp. After snagging three touchdowns during day one of camp, Waller repeated his success on day two. He made four receptions in the first six plays of team drills before the coaches took him off the field.
Waller, a two-time 1,000-yard receiver, is going to be the primary receiver in New York’s offense this season. He has been lining up all over the place during camp and the Giants are planning on turning the 6-foot-6 tight end into one of the most dynamic receiving threats in the NFL.
“He pretty much can do everything,” McKinney said of Waller following the first day of practice. “I love having him on this team because I know how he’s going to help me improve as a player.”
Daniel Bellinger is “catching everything” at camp
All of the buzz coming out of Giants camp surrounds Waller as he repeatedly gashes the team’s defense throughout practice. But Bellinger has also had a hot start to training camp. He hauled in a tough grab on the goal line for six points with Xavier McKinney in tight coverage at Wednesday’s practice.
Bellinger was “catching everything” at practice on Thursday and, according to Patricia Traina of Sports Illustrated, he looks quicker as well than he did last season. The 22-year-old tight end could have a big second season in store.
As a rookie in 2022, Bellinger totaled 30 receptions for 268 yards and two touchdowns (plus a third rushing score) in 12 games. He battled through a serious orbital injury suffered in Week 7 but returned after missing just four games. Bellinger’s resilience was on full display as he returned from the injury and eventually went on to score a touchdown in Big Blue’s playoff victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
What will Daniel Bellinger’s role be in an offense that features Darren Waller?
With the addition of Waller in the lineup, some fans feared Bellinger may be cast aside. But the truth is the opposite: Bellinger will be featured in a more prominent role in the offense this season.
New York plans to get creative with the way they deploy Waller. His dynamic skillset will be put on full display as he aligns as a tight end, slot receiver, and wide receiver. This will open things up for Bellinger to play the more traditional in-line tight end role, racking up ugly yardage with reception underneath. As defenses focus in on Waller, Bellinger will be left open as Daniel Jones’ security blanket in the middle of the field.
With both Waller and Bellinger expected to take big steps forward in 2023, the Giants’ offense will thrive with a deadly duo from the tight end position.